1. Sell On Ebay
During my pre-teen and early teenage years I went from playing with Transformers, GI-Joe and LEGO, to playing Nintendo, Sega and Gameboy. Eventually I added the card game Magic: The Gathering to the mix at about 16 years of age. All of these things were passions for me at various stages of growing up, but one thing remained consistent throughout each stage; I traded and sold toys and games I no longer wanted to make extra cash.
In Brisbane where I live, before the Internet there was a newspaper called theTrading Post that was published every two weeks. It was an aftermarket for pretty much everything. Whenever I grew tired of a game or a toy I’d sell it via theTrading Post, usually in an effort to make enough money to buy the new toy or game I had in my sights.
Eventually the Internet came along and the Trading Post no longer commanded the secondhand market like it once did (though it did successfully transition online). It quickly became clear that eBay was the winner when it came to secondhand commerce online. As a result my first experience making any money from the Internet was selling old games, toys and electronics on eBay.
EBay is still I believe the best way to gain experience making money from the Internet for two reasons –
- You are pretty much guaranteed to make some kind of sale and thus experience a transaction
- EBay has the traffic, so you don’t have to worry about marketing your product beyond creating a good listing, the eye-balls are already there
These two reasons make eBay a great first stop because you will learn how to list something for sale online, how to take money (possibly your first experience with PayPal) and about the importance of things like titles and copywriting, if you spend the time to study how to make your eBay listings convert better.
The best thing about eBay – the abundant traffic – is also the worst thing. Barriers to entry are low on eBay, meaning competition is fierce. When competition is fierce, profit margin is slim. Unless you can find some form of competitive advantage through your supply chain, how you create listings, or you have a means to increase volume, you’re not going retire rich thanks to eBay.
I spent quite a bit of time studying eBay, both as a business model and as a means to capture new customers because of how much buying traffic is there. There is no doubt that eBay is a fantastic website that represents a huge potential to make money, but in my case I wasn’t keen to build my business there, it didn’t match enough of my criteria.
However eBay is a fantastic way to make quick money, even just as a way to turn your old items into cash to start a new online venture. If you’re brand new to Internet marketing and you don’t know your PayPal’s from your Clickbanks, or your PPC from your SEO, eBay is definitely a great place to learn some basics.
2. Website Building
If the internet is a country, then websites are like real estates. I’m hoping by now you have a general understanding that real estates are valuable in the physical world – digital real estates work the same way. By building a website, you’re creating your own plot of online “land.”
You can fill this land with whatever you want, but you have to promote it through social media (and anywhere else you can think of) for this to be successful. When you build traffic to your land, you can sell people whatever you have to offer. In order to build a website, you need a host (i.eGoDaddy), a template (i.e WordPress), and content.
The first two parts are easy to find, and content is only as difficult as you make it. You can post blogs, items for sale, pictures, videos, or whatever you want. Opening up your own website gives you the potential to make money from the avenues I’m going to mention.
3. Google Adsense
If that sounds like too much technical information for you, there is an easy button – Google’s advertising platform is as simple as signing up, enabling (on Blogger) or pasting a small code on your website, and allowing the advertisements to automatically roll in. The problem with this program is that you don’t get any commissions – and you don’t get to control the ad content. This is useful for some, but powerful users will want something a little more robust.
4.Selling Products Online Is A Big Opportunity
My first three experiences of making money from the Internet all involve some kind of physical product. Online commerce obviously represents a huge opportunity to make money online, and having your own product or a passion for a product that you can source can lead to big profits.
You can sell product from your own website store, via community sites and classifieds (like Craigslist) and of course eBay and collectively make good money. The challenge, like with any business, is defining what is your competitive advantage and can you come up with a model that meets your needs. For me selling physical product was a great proving ground, but I eventually learned that profiting from information was a preferable model if I wanted to meet my aforementioned business goals.
I’ll leave it in your hands to decide whether physical commerce is the way to go for your situation.
I make the bulk of my money from blogging. In addition to the advertising revenue streams mentioned above, I also receive flat rate payments for blogging from various blogs throughout the web. I’m paid to write as a whistleblower, financial analyst, reviewer, commentator, and more. Writing for other sites builds traffic to my personal blog. The traffic for this blog gives me clout to present to advertisers.
To create your own blog, you don’t even need a web domain. You can start a completely free blog on either WordPress or Blogger. Each of these sites has its ups and downs, but you can’t beat the price. You generally want to keep blog posts between 150-500 words until you have a few dozen under your belt. Links between your blog posts encourage people to stay on your blog once they find it, increasing traffic. Once your blog is up, promote it on social media for the greatest effect.
6. Sponsorship advertising on a content site
Once my card game site was successful I began researching how to make money from it. I sold cards initially because I already knew there was a market for that and I had the cards, but I was also aware that if I had an audience I could charge sponsors money to advertise to them.
Thus began my love affair with banner advertising.
Although challenging at times to find sponsors, I was quickly able to bring in several hundred dollars per month in advertising revenue by directly approaching online companies who I considered good targets for my readership. I emailed them and asked if they would like to pay a monthly fee to place a banner on my site. Most said no, but some said yes and eventually I had a couple of loyal sponsors.
Banner income would prove very reliable over time as long as I continued to do whatever I did to maintain and build a readership. This has continued today, where several sponsors pay a fee to advertise their products and services to you, the reader of this website.
Banner advertising, when set up using a system like I presently use, can be very hands off – in fact for me it’s entirely passive – assuming there is an audience that the sponsors benefit from advertising to. It’s difficult to make loads and loads of money just from banners unless you have significant traffic, but it is easy enough to make some money from it and once you do, it generally proves very reliable unless you stop updating your website.
I’d recommend this method to you if you have some kind of content based site or a community site that attracts enough traffic to make it worthwhile for sponsors. The best thing about banners is that they don’t have to replace any other income method you use, you can use this income stream in tandem with others.
7. Social Media
No matter what you do to make money online, promote it on your social media accounts. You have a base of people who are already interested in you and have a vested interest in your brand – why would you not want to take advantage of that? By promoting yourself and your projects on your social media accounts, you’re greatly increasing the chances of people actually giving you money in exchange for your goods and services. Stop being shy and get out there.
8. Paid reviews
For a brief period on my blog I invited people to submit their product, service or website for a paid review. This means they pay a fee (for my site it was $250) and I would write an article about whatever they submitted. I would not accept just anything for review, I had to see an angle that made for relevant content for my audience. Nor was a paid review a promise that I would write positively about the subject – I would highlight both good and bad points.
Initially I didn’t mind writing paid reviews as the income was pretty good in terms of how long it would take and how much I earned. I could make as much as $250 an hour, which was great at first, but as my motivation focused more on freedom and less on money, even this became a poor incentive. Plus I never did like that I was told what to write about rather than choosing subjects I enjoyed.
The challenge for you, if this method is relevant to your growth stage, is to create a website where you can command a price for paid reviews that makes it worth your time. Until your traffic is significant, charging more than $50 for a review is not realistic, so you need to build your website asset first.
9. Affiliate marketing
As my blog audience grew I began to test a method of making money I was very interested in – affiliate marketing. My first test proved positive, though initially I was disappointed that of my readership of 500 or so people (at the time), I could only sell one or two products, making $20 commission each. It wasn’t retirement money, but it was a start.
Affiliate income has gone on to become my second highest source of income in recent years, thanks in part to the increase in my audience reach. By combining my blog and email newsletter I can reach thousands of people with just one piece of content. By testing different products and recommending things I personally use myself, I’ve been able to earn as much as $50,000 in commissions selling just one product.
Affiliate marketing is possibly the single best way to make a living online because it is so hands off, can be automated easily enough and can deliver some incredible profit margins. It’s especially good when you can use affiliate marketing to recommend things in areas you are personally interested in – for example you can make money simply writing a review of a book you really wanted to read anyway and you get paid for doing what you love.
The challenge for you is figuring out what market(s) to enter, building an audience and maintaining relationships with your readers so they trust what you tell them. If you know something that other people want to know and you are prepared to share that information, you could be looking at a fairly lucrative affiliate opportunity.
10. High end private coaching
I’ll end this article with something I only recently did – offer high end coaching to a select group of clients who had to apply to work with me. My program cost between $5,000 and $10,000 and I turned away more people than I accepted. This was deliberate as I knew working one-on-one with people is not something I can do with many people or I will use up all my time. However I was keen to help certain people who were in the right position so I could learn more about the challenges they face.
Private coaching, like consulting, is another situation where you trade time for dollars, but in terms of your hourly pay rate it is hard to find a higher paying “job”. Of course you don’t have to start off charging thousands of dollars. Depending on your expertise and what kind of outcome you help people achieve, will determine how much you can charge. Offering coaching for $100 per session is not out of reach for most people, and that’s not a bad starting rate if you are looking to build up your experience through helping others closely.
Again the Internet is by far the easiest and most affordable tool to attract coaching clients. In many cases you can add private coaching to many of the other methods I listed above, including selling info products you create, affiliate products, sponsorship banners and physical products.
11. Social Investment Networks
The historically hard-to-break world of investing in stock markets and currencies has been cracked wide open. Today there is no need to be a fat cat or fund the yachts of Wolf of Wall Street style stock brokers. You can do it all yourself with the help of free online market trading platforms.
Having spent many hours researching this new opportunity, I’ve been experimenting with eToro.com which has over 4 million users worldwide. It was recently featured in the BBC 2 documentary “Traders: Millions by the Minute” and the Financial Times.
12. Selling an eBook
Selling information online is a a very profitable business model, and selling eBooks is the fastest and easiest way to get started in this segment.
Choosing The Topic
First of all you need to identify a topic for your eBook. Ideally it should be something that will solve a problem people have. Here are some examples:
- Tips and tricks to make old PCs run faster.
- A list of foods that worsen or improve acne.
- Secrets to approach women and get more dates.
- A blueprint to ace job interviews.
As you can see, all these topics touch on pain points that many people have, and as a consequence it will be much easier to sell such eBooks. If you want some insights regarding the problems people are trying to solve, visit some online forums (this website lists a bunch of them) or check Yahoo! Answers.
Spend some time writing down a list of problems you have identified. After that evaluate which of them are related to your areas of expertise or interest, as this will make writing the eBook a much easier task. The graph below illustrates this concept.
13. Gigs on Fiverr
Fiverr is now the world’s largest marketplace for people to make money selling small services (known as ‘gigs’).What you offer could be absolutely anything, from writing and translating,social media posting, playing pranksand teaching to creating music, voiceovers and short video clips for people all around the world!The default price is $5 (hence Fiverr..), but you can attach extra services to gigs for more money. Whilst it might not seem like much, it can quickly add up and there are plenty of examples of people making a really good living from the site. The key is to get a system in place which minimises the time spent on each gig.
But there is another way to profit even more from Fiverr for potentially far less work. How? By simply reselling gigs elsewhere. For example, find a decent logo designer then reply to jobs on Elance or even local classifieds. A $5 spend can easily become $50+, and it’s repeatable!If you’re not interested in selling at all there’s SO much good stuff you can get done for yourself. Have a browse and get inspired!
14. Make Money Online with Facebook
Facebook: Being the most popular social media that’s becoming more and more fashionable all the time, tens or even hundreds of thousands of individuals from around the world are using Facebook each and every day. Thus it has become a very effective platform for making money online.
The process is quick, easy and fun. Simply sign up, create your Facebook page and start the networking process by branding yourself, your skills and your products / services.
15. Freelance work
Perhaps you enjoy writing, managing Facebook pages or doing a little bit of graphic design in your spare time. There are so many freelance jobs out there that require simple skills or just time that someone else might not have.
And the best thing about freelancing is that you can work for clients in the UK and around the world with just an internet connection from home, to your own hours whilst developing valuable skills.
A great place to start is with the leading freelance site Upwork.com. Or try using our student job search to find freelance jobs closer to home.